·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Workplace Drug Testing Do’s and Don’ts

— March 3, 2021

Learn how to handle this process, and you will develop a drug-free workplace. You employees will feel safer, and you will reduce accidents in your company. 

In an ideal world, employers around the world would never have to worry about the dangers of substance abuse in the workplace. Unfortunately, alcohol and drug misuse by some employees can increase the risk of injuries and excessive damage. As a business owner, it’s natural that you want to protect your business and ensure that all your employees are safe. No matter what industry you are in, you must prevent potential accidents and reduce the risk of hazards. Although it’s safe to say that some industries have a higher rate of injury, there are universal hazards that appear in almost every workplace. Regular drug testing can help you prevent accidents, boost employee productivity and protect your business integrity. 

Those who want to implement a corporate drug testing in their workplace should know that they must follow certain rules and regulations. Without a written drug testing plan and policy, it would be legally impossible to persuade your employees to follow a drug-testing protocol. 

Create a strict policy

If an employer expects of their employees to take regular drug tests, it’s critical to create a testing plan and write a drug policy for that company. Insisting on safety in your workplace is a part of your duty. If you believe that drug testing can lower the risk of accidents, you can set new standards and ask your employees to participate in mandatory testing. 

Employees who tend to consume alcohol and abuse drugs can put other individuals at risk. Many of them are not competent to stay productive or operate the machinery in their workplace. That’s why it is of great importance to create a strict policy. But, you should also decide what to do if the test shows that your employees are abusing illegal substances that are affecting their ability to stay safe and productive. 

Inform potential candidates and your employees about the drug policy

Most drug policies state that all employees should take a drug test before they return to work and that the employer has the legal right to demand regular testing in the workplace. They also show that new employees need to follow the same procedures before they enter the workplace. It’s vital to talk about these issues with your employees. They need to be informed about the way you handle accidents, but they should also understand that they can lose their job if lab technicians find traces of drugs in their blood or urine sample.

Image by National Cancer Institute, via
Image by National Cancer Institute, via

Be aware of the pre-employment drug test procedure

It’s easy to discriminate against people in these situations. As an employer who wants to develop a drug-free workplace, you can’t just walk around and request a person to submit to drug testing. This approach is illegal, and your employees or potential candidates can refuse your request. 

If you want to hire new employees, you must state in the job description that you’re trying to develop a drug-free workplace. That way, your employees will understand that you’ll have to ask them to take a drug test before they arrive at your workplace for the first time. However, you can invite them to submit to drug testing only if you decide to give them a job. Once the decision is official, you’re legally allowed to ask a new hire to take a drug test. 

Don’t go against the law

It’s illegal to test your employees and applicants whenever you feel like drug testing is a reasonable idea. Even if you suspect that some of your employees are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are not legally obliged to follow your directions. However, some laws and regulations allow you to request drug testing. 

If you don’t want to break the law, you must establish a drug-free policy. You should introduce your demands in this written policy and define all terms and your employee’s responsibilities. However, you should also include your duties and talk about the purpose and implementation of drug testing in your workplace. If your employees understand what you’re trying to accomplish and decide to sign your conditions, you will be able to apply your drug-free policy and legally ask them to take drug tests. 

Think about reasonable suspicion testing

As we mentioned before, it’s easy to discriminate against some groups of people during drug testing. That’s why it’s not easy for employers to conduct reasonable suspicion testing. If you want your employees to take a drug test because you suspect that they’re abusing illegal substances, it’s vital to confirm your suspicions. 

You can ask for a drug test only if the employee in question shows two or more symptoms of drug misuse. Luckily, a drug test kit enables you to confirm your suspicions in five minutes. These tests are designed for Australian citizens. They’re practical and easy to use, but they can also save you money and time. Once you get the results, you will know what you need to do next. 

Don’t underestimate the power of education

Trying to develop a drug-free workplace is not as easy as it sounds. You must inform your employees about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, and you should provide training and educational materials for all members of your collective. Your employees should know that you have the right to demand drug testing after a workplace accident, but they should also understand that you’re doing your best to keep them all safe. 

Talk to your lawyer and determine what you need to do if your employees refuse to take a drug test. It’s advisable to inform yourself about the laws in your state and protect yourself and your employees. 


If you believe that drug testing is necessary to establish a safe workplace, your employees need to be familiar with your decisions. Inform your employees about any policy changes and don’t even try to hide anything. 

Drug testing is mandatory in many companies across Australia. Learn how to handle this process, and you will develop a drug-free workplace. You employees will feel safer, and you will reduce accidents in your company. 

Join the conversation!